Apr 192015
 

I had another night with little sleep, due to street noise.  Therefore I want to get my articles written quickly, before I run out of gas.  80° highs are forecast today and tomorrow.  I guess this means I’ll be complaining about freezing weather in June.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:06 (average 4:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A real-life moment of unequal pay turns into a beautiful discussion of hard work, pressure, appreciating yourself, and … BASKETBALL.

 

Kudos! Why is it that guns and money evoke the most violent responses? The people making them are Republicans. That’s why! Her only mistake is that she should have been petting a CAT!

From Daily Kos: Sen. Ted Cruz goes full LaPierre:

"The 2nd Amendment to the Constitution isn’t for just protecting hunting rights, and it’s not only to safeguard your right to target practice. It is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives, and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny — for the protection of liberty," Cruz wrote to supporters in a fundraising email on Thursday, under the subject line "2nd Amendment against tyranny."

This "insurrectionist" argument, as Second Amendment expert and UCLA law professor Adam Winkler calls it, is popular among passionate gun owners and members of the National Rifle Association.

Second Amendment solutions are being championed by Republican candidates again.

From Alternet: Men’s rights blogger: Women with short hair should be monitored by the authorities.

Men’s rights nutjob Roosh V,  who blogs under the moniker “Pick Up Artist,” always has extremely helpful suggestions for women. He thinks women would take more responsibility for themselves if rape on private property was decriminalized, for starters. Thanks, Roosh! Or should we call you Mr. V? How exactly decriminalizing rape would help women is kind of murky.

This week, the Rooshter made an even more bizarre suggestion for how law enforcement should occupy their time, now that they’ve been freed up from all that pesky rape stuff. The authorities should be alerted when women cut their hair short. This, he says, is an act of self harm. Worse still, it hurts men (the group Roosh actually purports to care about). When women cut their hair short, they are trying to appear less fertile and therefore less attractive to men, he reasons.

Here it is from the horse’s (ass) mouth:

“If a woman cuts her hair to a short length, or shaves it outright in a Skrillex haircut, we can now confidently say that she is making herself appear less fertile, less beautiful, and less healthy. A woman cutting off healthy hair is one step away from literal cutting of her skin with a sharp object, because both behaviors denote a likely mental illness where the woman presents herself to society as more damaged than her genetic condition would indicate, suggesting that she has suffered environmental damage that has reduced her overall fitness. She must be monitored by state authorities so she doesn’t continue to hurt herself.”

Stupefying, no?

This is just the last of five Republican lunacies from last week alone. Click through for the other four.

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Unlike years past, I have not been able to find Republicans celebrating bombing the Murrah building with open-carry demonstrations this year.

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Apr 172015
 

It feels like summer here, so my chores have left me feeling somewhat lazy, so you can be sure I’ll take a break later for purring in the sunshine.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:15 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: The sad but beautiful story of water, as narrated by Penélope Cruz

 

This cycle is what Republicans are trying to destroy.

From Media Matters: Indianapolis’ WIBC has broadcast Rush Limbaugh’s show for 22 years. Despite this long history, parent company Emmis Communications announced April 13 that they are dropping Limbaugh’s show from WIBC’s lineup.

Charlie Morgan, an executive for Emmis, indicated that the decision to drop Limbaugh was about the "long-term direction of the station," but also acknowledged that there was a "business element to the decision." Underscoring the business considerations, Morgan explained to the Indianapolis Business Journal that the absence of Limbaugh could actually help WIBC’s advertiser prospects:

And the defectors from Limbarf’s former empire keep coming. Every remaining station is one too many.

From The New Yorker: Americans took to the streets in large numbers on Thursday to show their support for a fifteen-dollar-an-hour wage for members of Congress.

In major cities across the nation, fast-food workers and other service employees held signs, shouted chants, and gave impassioned speeches to demonstrate their conviction that Congress deserves a maximum hourly wage of fifteen dollars.

“Members of Congress are people, just like you and me,” Tracy Klugian, a McDonald’s employee who took part in the Washington protest, said. “They should be paid what they deserve.”

Assuming that they continue to take off approximately two hundred and forty days a year, members of Congress earning the proposed maximum would see their average annual income adjusted from a hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars to thirteen thousand five hundred dollars, a salary that many marchers called “fair and equitable.”

Andy is on to something here, but even if paid for only the hours they actually work, they would get far more than they are worth.

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Republicans want a rerun.\

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Apr 162015
 

Spring is sproinging!!  Today I have the first of six forecast sunny days with a high over 70°.  It’s definitely time for some kitty basking.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:59 (average 4:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: When a man asks people to translate a hate message he’s received, their response is unforgettable.

 

This video illustrates how people naturally react to the hatred Republicans embrace. Here, Republicans continually bombard people with media designed to make them fearful of others in a way that evokes such hatred.

From Daily Kos: Fargo, North Dakota, coffee shop owner Joe Curry does not appreciate the 56 North Dakota legislators who voted against a bill that would have protected LGBT people from discrimination. Curry put up a sign:

"Ban effective immediately. The listed Men & Women are now banned from entering this establishment.* This is based solely on age, gender, race, beliefs, color, religion & disability."

That asterisk points to this statement:

"Unless accompanied by a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Queer, Intersex or Asexual person."

Curry’s coffee shop is the Red Raven Espresso Parlor. His intention is not to discriminate.

Kudos to Joe Curry. I would love to have coffee un the Red Raven!

From Alternet: Shred Safety Nets. Christie thinks he’s being bold by giving a big speech on the safety nets for the elderly and poor. “Democrats believe entitlements are a sacred cow that cannot be honestly discussed, perpetuating a dangerous fantasy to the American people,” he said. As noted above, Christie’s solutions are not honest as they would push millions into poverty. Like the others, he doesn’t touch fair tax increases to fortify social insurance programs or greed in the health care system. And that takes him to attacking Obamacare. “There is no question that America would be better off with a market-oriented, more flexible, more pro-consumer-choice health care system than the one that was jammed down our throats by this President,” he said. All of the GOP 2016 wannabees not only want to repeal it, on tip of cutting safety net spending because of their obsession with the federal debt. None are asking what people need.

This is just one of eight nightmare scenarios that will come to pass if Republican campaign speeches become reality. Click through for the other seven and to see what life would be like under a Republican Reich.

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Apr 152015
 

This is today’s only article, because an unusual situation has me running behind.  This morning I was awakened by a bang on my door.  I woman who lives on the floor could not breathe well, and was trying to use an Advair dispenser.  I tried to help her, but saw that she had no doses left.  I called 911, notified building staff, and cared for her until help arrived.  I was pleased that the EMTs arrived in under 15 minutes.  I lay back down to rest for just a few minutes, and slept a couple hours past the time I planned to arise.  Today is a grocery delivery day, and I’m waiting for Store to Door to arrive.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: When a self-proclaimed "white redneck" starts a video with "white people are racists," it’s hard not to listen.

 

He looks like Bubba Bagger. He sounds like Bubba Bagger. But there is nothing Republican about him.

From Daily Kos: 1. You want to finance the wealthy?

You think the banking bailout wasn’t enough for the elite? They need tax breaks to invest more in the developing world so their companies become more profitable? Pleas give them tax cuts to do so.

Do you want to decrease unemployment overseas, give corporations tax cuts and breaks to finance their move to the land of cheap labor of their choice? So what if the workers are to young or kept in dormitories and the conditions resemble those of forced labor. You really want that stuff to be so cheap that you can afford it on the unemployment line? Well then:

Vote Republican

2. You believe victims of crime are whiners?

Two wrongs make a right?

Women who are raped and become pregnant should be forced to carry the baby of a crime?

That those complaining of sexual and moral abuse at work are just lazy and have no right to be treated equally at the workplace?

Vote Republican.

Here are just two things voting Republican will help you get. Click through for the other eight.

From The New Yorker: With a stop in Iowa on Tuesday, the Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton officially embarked on a nineteen-month marathon of looking concerned.

Sitting with patrons at Jones Street Java House, in Le Claire, the former Secretary of State listened intently, sipped from a cup of coffee, and nodded her head at appropriate junctures, flawlessly reënacting a brief scene from her first campaign video.

After about twenty minutes of virtually nonstop displays of empathy, a Clinton aide said, “we decided to shut it down.”

“Hillary is staring down nineteen months of sipping coffee and nodding her head,” the aide continued. “We want to make sure she paces herself.”

Andy is probably more accurate that we want to consider. We need to pressure her to make the kinds of commitments on issues that we can live with.

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Apr 142015
 

When I dug into my corporate reporting for my volunteer group, I discovered I have until mid-May to get that done, so I decided to blog instead, in addition to delving into the mess I need to tackle for grocery delivery day tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:38 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: South Carolina wants to be able to continue to ban gays and lesbians from marrying each other. They want to do that so much that they filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court that they should continue to be able to do so. In it, they make an "originalist" argument that if the Constitution is read just as its drafters understood it, gays can be discriminated against because women can be discriminated against. Mark Joseph Stern at Slate has all the crazy.

Here’s the gist of South Carolina’s fascinatingly sexist argument. The state wants to prove that the 14th Amendment—which guarantees "equal protection of the laws" to every "person"—was not intended to displace state marriage laws. And what did those laws look like at the time? One major feature: In many states, married women were not permitted to own property or enter into contracts and had no legal existence apart from their husbands. According to South Carolina, the framers of the 14th Amendment explicitly preserved the rights of states to deprive married women of the ability to function independently from her husband. This right to deprive married women of basic liberties, South Carolina argues, is enshrined in the 10th Amendment and is not at all undercut by the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equality.

Were SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) to agree with this brief, not only would gays become the subjects of continued discrimination, but also, "barefoot and pregnant" laws would sweep those states, where Republicans have complete control.

From The New Yorker: Hillary Clinton has followed up the official announcement of her candidacy with a new campaign ad featuring nothing but kittens.

The sixty-second spot stars an assortment of kittens—tabbies, calicoes, Siamese, and a dozen other breeds—in a variety of adorable vignettes.

At various points in the advertisement, the kittens are shown playing in a sock drawer, tangled up in yarn, and chasing a duckling.

Clinton herself appears only in the final seconds of the ad, saying merely, “Hi. I’m Hillary.”

Andy, I certainly hope my kitty cousins are not exploited in such a shameful manner. Wouldn’t it be better to portray the kittens using Republicans as a cat box? I might get in on that action myself!!

From NY Times: One by one, four former Blackwater security contractors wearing blue jumpsuits and leg irons stood before a federal judge on Monday and spoke publicly for the first time since a deadly 2007 shooting in Iraq.

The men had been among several private American security guards who fired into Baghdad’s crowded Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, and last October they were convicted of killing 14 unarmed Iraqis in what prosecutors called a wartime atrocity. Yet on Monday, as they awaited sentences that they knew would send them to prison for most if not all of their lives, they defiantly asserted their innocence…

…The judge, Royce C. Lamberth, strongly disagreed, sentencing Mr. Slatten to life in prison and handing 30-year sentences to the three others.

My only regret is that the top war criminals, Bush and Cheney, were not sentenced with them.

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Apr 132015
 

Now that I’ve finished my personal taxes, I get to do the same for my volunteer group, which involves far less money, but far more paperwork.  I should have done al this a month ago, but took sick right before receiving the reporting forms.  Therefore, today’s articles involve minimal research.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:34 (average 6:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The two major political parties’ unconscionable waste of money officially commences this weekend, as Democrats and Republicans will soon begin spending an estimated five billion dollars of their corporate puppet masters’ assets in an unquenchable pursuit of power.

The billions, which could be spent rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, improving schools, or reducing the scourge of malaria in Africa, will instead be squandered in a heinous free-for-all of slander and personal destruction, alienating voters as never before.

The media will inevitably focus on the personalities of the bloated roster of narcissists lusting after the White House, but scant attention will be paid to the Wall Street bankers, industrial polluters, and casino magnates whose grip on American democracy will remain vise-like…

Andy forgot the satire. Everything here is factual.

From Daily Kos: A recurrent fear heard by the Christian right is if gay people are widely accepted, those who disapprove of homosexuality will be shunned and treated just like racists!

See talking point #4 copied directly from National Organization for Marriage:

“If courts rule that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then, people like you and me who believe children need moms and dads will be treated like bigots and racists.”

This classic is over two years old, but it turned out to be quite correct. Those who hate gays and those who hate blacks are treated exactly alike. They are embraced and supported by the Republican Party.

From Upworthy: Is your community thinking about opening its doors to fracking? Check out this video for some images that might make that decision crystal clear.

 

This says what needs saying!

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